Monday, April 16, 2012
I recently finished a Bible reading plan in 90 days called, B90. It was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had reading God’s Word.
When I first landed on MomsToolBox.com, I read the comments of how so many graduates of the program had connected with God in a way they never thought possible. I wasn’t scared by the timeline, in fact I was fairly confident (for the first time in my life) that I could accomplish the task. But more than anything, I desperately desired to take my walk with God to a new level, and had hoped this program would help get me to that place.
If you are considering participating in the B90 program, there are some things you need to be fully aware of. It starts out great for the first few weeks. You’re cranking along, feeling great, reading things you’ve never even noticed before that you read a million times. God’s Word will quite literally come to life, and your spirit will quicken. However, the program has consequences.
About midway through the reading plan is when our son Tavin developed an illness that we’re still in the dark about. We spent countless hours in ER, at Children’s Hospital, and having every test imaginable done on our poor little guy. He endured so much trauma and pain for nearly 6 weeks straight. The pain for him was so horrific that he spent hours screaming in agony and writhing in pain every day, and suffering from extreme night terrors each night.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, my mom’s cancer began to progress rapidly, and she ended up in the hospital for a week at the very same time that our son was sick. Her cancer had nearly doubled in only one short month. Our family was devastated.
To top it off, financially we couldn’t keep afloat. Our bills backed up and we realized we had no other option than to get further in debt just to buy the things we needed.
I often found myself angry with God throughout all of this madness that was encircling us, but being committed to the B90 plan kept me in God’s Word and in God’s presence. However, I also realized I had fallen days behind. Fortunately you are offered two grace days, which I took, but was still five days behind. I did complete the program; however it wasn’t in 90 days, it took me 95.
As I made my weekly contact with our group leader on her website, I read what other people were commenting about throughout the process too. As I read through them, I began to see a trend. This wasn’t the first time many people had attempted to complete this program. Many were on their third or fourth try. And the number one reason most people stopped was due to some kind of personal tragedy that tore them away.
This was a common thread throughout our group. People were being attacked left and right by the enemy. Some were strong enough to keep pushing through it, while others, like my husband, just couldn’t take the added pressure of being confined to a stringent timeline on top of everything else crashing around them.
Many people ask me, “What was it that made the experience so great?” And the first thing I have to admit is that I read the whole entire Bible, cover to cover. No small feat for any Christian. Most long time Christians have read “scriptures” here and there but haven’t experienced it in its entirety.
Better yet was the short time frame to complete the 1500 page, 6 point font book. And I say this because when you need to keep reading so much in such a short period of time, everything remains incredibly fresh in your mind. Suddenly the puzzle starts coming together like a rubix cube, only it doesn’t feel so overwhelming and complicated. The veil is lifted and everything that seemed so confusing suddenly begins to make sense.
I was also able to visualize the series of events that took place, and the Bible became an incredible lesson for me in our world’s history, starting at the beginning of time! Something no school book in our system will EVER offer!
Reading the Bible on a two year plan reduces your chances of experiencing the wholeness and completeness of what God is trying to teach us in our walk with Him. You can lose so much. It’s no different than asking you to sit down right now and do a long algebra problem from high school. If you’re not doing that sort of thing on a daily basis, you will struggle with the equation. So when you read the New Testament, it will be incredibly difficult to remember where you read scriptures that Jesus, Peter, Matthew, James and Paul referred to. When you read Isaiah or Jeremiah, you’ll have a hard time recalling their roles in Chronicles or Kings. (Did you even KNOW that most of the prophets were first introduced in those books?)
Through the B90 plan, you will see and experience God like never before. He will show you things you’ve glazed over in the past. There is no glazing in this program. No skipping forward because it’s not what you want to read about at that time. That’s how most of us read the Bible. We search out what we want to hear, or even dumbly fumble through it “accidentally” landing on a scripture in hopes God will talk to us. And you’ll be fascinated to see how God will actually begin to speak to your circumstances through your daily readings.
The program offers a bible specifically sectioned off for 90 days. However, you can use your own Bible, but they recommend that you use one that does not include devotionals, study notes, or things of that nature, because those things will distract you from the reading.
I found that things were jumping out at me all over the place, so I just grabbed a pencil and began to underline scriptures that spoke to me or surprised me so I could go back to them later. I also held a weekly B90 small group with my brother-in-laws and my husband to discuss those very things. That increased my experience so much more!
You need to be seriously committed to this program if you’re considering it at all. Know your time limitations. Each daily reading take approximately one to one and a half hours, depending on your individual reading pace. Again, you do receive two grace days, but if you don’t use them then technically you will have read the Bible in 88 days. I chose to do my reading at night after our son went to bed. Of course, I’m not tied down to television programs or other activities, so that made me a bit more confident that I could complete the program.
You also need to be aware that the enemy will try to prevent you from moving forward, because he realizes just how powerful this reading plan is in maturing you in Christ. But if you know these things going in, you can be prepared for it and seek the Holy Spirit’s strength and guidance.
I recommend that you join an online community to encourage you through the program. Otherwise, try following the reading plan on your own or with a friend or two. Find an outlet to express and share what you’re learning and what God is doing in your life as you venture through the Bible. I have been considering starting a small group this summer (as I will be following the B90 schedule again myself), so if you’d like to take the journey with me, please express your interest in the comments below. I would want it to be interactive with a weekly group participation through skype or google+ hang out.